Sunday, January 25, 2015

Chartier scores 40th in 40th game in lopisided win

  • Rourke Chartier celebrated his 40th goal last night in typical, nonchalant fashion. When the puck went in, Chartier was flat on his back after winning a puck in the corner and cutting hard towards the net and chipping it past startled Tips goaltender Carter Hart. The soft spoken 18 year-old forward wouldn't have had it any other way. No big celebration. No riding his stick at centre ice. Chartier had the right to do it though after becoming the first Kelowna Rockets player to reach 40 goals in just 40 games. The first round bantam pick from 2013 was one of five different goal scorers in the second period in a 9-3 win over the visiting Everett Silvertips. The victory completed a weekend sweep of the Tips in a much anticipated showdown between the two Western Conference leaders.
  • How good was Tyrell Goulbourne? The 20 year-old was at his energetic best. After scoring the franchise's 5,000th goal the night prior in a 5-3 win over the Tips, the Edmonton product scored the home teams opening goal and was full marks for being named the game’s first star. Goulbourne's skating, his greatest asset outside of his fists, were on display. The assist he collected on Nick Merkley's second period goal showed off how quick the Philadelphia Flyers draft pick truly is. Goulbourne picked up the puck at his own blue line and zoomed up ice with a great burst of speed before firing the puck in front of the Tips where Merkley simply deflected it open. Goulbourne has been solid since the trade deadline and as head coach Dan Lambert put it, "Goulby is playing the best hockey of his career right now".
  •  As mentioned, 16 year-old Carter Hart got the start in goal for the Tips after veteran Austin Lotz was steady in giving up four goals the night prior in a 5-3 loss. Hart gave up 6 goals on 14 shots before being pulled after the Rockets reeled off two goals in a span of 51 seconds.
  •  As lopsided as the score was at game’s end, it was 1-1 after 20 minutes and the Rockets enjoyed their first lead when Tyrell Goulbourne scored a shorthanded goal to make it 2-1 four and a half minutes into the second period. 
  • I really liked how the Rockets shorthanded unit attacked the Tips when they were on the power play. Goulbourne and Cole Linaker were especially good in being aggressive and winning loose battles for pucks. The Rockets now have 12 shorthanded goals this season. The team had 13 shorthanded goals in 2013-2014 and the same number in 2012-2013.
  • The Tips made things interesting when they scored a power play goal at the seven minute mark of the third period to make it a 6-3 game. Head Coach Kevin Constantine elected to pull his goaltender in an effort to get his team within a goal with just over 6 minutes left to play. Sure it backfired with Leon Draisaitl finding the back of the net to make the score 7-3, but I liked the call of the veteran coach. If the Tips score quickly with the goaltender pulled to make it a two goal game, how do the Rockets react as momentum switches towards the Tips? In my opinion is worth the gamble. When you are trailing 6-3 in a game and it's in the third period, it is worth shaking the dice. 
  • It was nice to see Josh Morrissey score his first goal in a Rockets uniform. Sure it came late in the game to make the score 8-3, but it was good to see the 19 year-old have some offensive success while putting up a +4 rating. Defensive partner Cole Martin did one better though. Martin was an incredible +6. 

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